A passage has been made through an avalanche which fell on the road to Ólafsfjörður, near Sauðanes, 1st January 2013. This avalanche reached the sea.

Many avalanches – no injuries

Worst spell of snow avalanches since 2005


Many avalanches fell in the Westfjords and in North Iceland during the last days of December 2012. This is probably the worst spell of snow avalanches since 2005.

Great amounts of snow fell on Thursday 27th and Friday 28th, followed by ferocious storm on Friday night and Saturday 29th. On northern Westfjords many avalanches fell across roads and a few fell near villages and farms. Some farms were without electricity for up to three days.

During the past 18 years, hazard zoning has been carried out and refined for towns and villages in the north, west and east; as well as local hazard zoning for some individual farms and recreation areas. According to this, warnings were issued and evacuation plans carried out at Ísafjörður, Hnífsdalur, Súðavík, Flateyri and Patreksfjörður; all in the Westfjords.

In North Iceland, transport was greatly affected. Large avalanches fell across roads (see photo) and some reached into the sea.

Warm weather followed which increased the danger of further avalanches. A few houses had to be re-evacuated overnight 2nd January.

Further information can be found on an Avalanche map which is updated frequently. General information can be found on selected avalanche pages, including a few articles on the subject.

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